A safe, happy and legal Christmas

December 8, 2011

With Christmas fast approaching and the festivities mounting, one might be forgiven fostock-footage-family-opening-christmas-gifts-at-home-footage-in-high-definitionr trying to relax and forget about life problems. By all means do so; but not entirely. Christmas, just like any other time of the year, creates its own legal dilemmas; which, if they arise, could really put the brakes on the season’s frivolities.


Whilst there will be no double demerit points this year, there will certainly be plenty of police out on the roads: either in booze buses or random patrols trying to keep the roads free of accidents and mishaps on a day when everyone needs to be everywhere, so:

A. If you’re going to have a drink make sure someone else is going to drive you around; and B. If you feel like you’ll be in a hurry between Christmas lunch and Christmas dinner call ahead and tell them you’ll be 15 minutes late. Trying to make up 15 minutes in transit could be expensive and make you even later if you are stopped and have to try and explain to the Police why you were travelling over the speed limit.

With busy roads, accidents can, and will, happen with consequences stretching beyond the holidays…and not just for yourself.

Dodgy presents:

By this our main concern is the TV, the DVD player, or the Sandwich press which breaks the minute it leaves the safety of its wrapper and not so much the thrice-presented DVD or Fluoro Yellow parachute pants. Under the newly established Australian Consumer Law if something is not an ‘acceptable quality’ you are entitled to have the gift:

i. Replaced with a brand new version of the gift; or ii. Request a refund of the value of the gift; but

If you decide to return a gift be careful how it’s treated. Once you decide to return the gift – it becomes the property of the manufacturer immediately. So please be careful not to damage the gift or they can claim it was your fault not theirs.


If you have to work over the Christmas period please keep in mind Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day (and Monday, 2 January 2012 because New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday) are all listed Victorian public holidays entitling you to decide whether or not you want to work.

If you are a full-time or part-time employee, you have two options available:

1. You can work and receive penalty rates, typically this is double-time but not always; or 2. If your rostered shift is on one of the Christmas public holidays, you dont have to work and you can still receive your ordinary pay.

This is just a list of the common Christmas legal dilemmas and with a bit of luck they won’t come up.

But we are sure you will be pleased to know that Hutchinson Legal will be open for business, as usual, over the Christmas break to deal with any legal issues that may arise for you or your family.

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